Posted 27 Mar 2012
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In a blow to handset maker Nokia, the new “Angry Birds Space” edition of the world’s most popular mobile-phone game won’t appear on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.
“We’re the No. 1 app in the Windows Phone app store, but it’s a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application,” Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of the game’s maker, Rovio Entertainment, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Rovio, which Thursday started selling the game for Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android platform, has no plans to release “Angry Birds Space” on Windows Phone, he said.
Nokia is betting on the Windows Phone operating system to revive its struggling smartphone business. The lack of “Angry Birds” may make it more difficult for the company, based in the same Espoo, Finland-based office park as Rovio, to attract gaming-oriented users and persuade developers that its platform is growing.
“This is a worrying development for Windows Phone because it suggests that Rovio does not have much confidence in its future,” Nomura analyst Richard Windsor said Friday in a report. “As the standard version is already number one on the Windows Phone app store, it gives a strong indication that no one else will expect to be making money writing for this platform either.”
Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop has introduced several Windows Phones since October and plans to bring the handsets next to China, where “Angry Birds” took off last year.
“China has been our second-largest market, but it’s actually been the fastest-growing for quite a while, and it could well be that China becomes the biggest market this year,” Vesterbacka said.
Nokia spokesman James Etheridge had no immediate comment when contacted Friday.
Elop, who took over at the world’s largest mobile-phone maker in 2010, shifted to Windows Phone last year after determining Nokia’s Symbian and MeeGo systems couldn’t keep up with Android, the fastest-growing smartphone platform, and the iPhone.
“There is a chicken-and egg-situation here, where no apps means no users and no users means no apps,” Windsor said. “Nokia has tried in the past to get past this by paying developers directly to write applications but it has largely failed to bring any life back to the platform.”